Three “dangerous criminals”, including a jihadist linked to the attack on Garissa University in which 148 people were killed in 2015, escaped from Kenya’s most heavily guarded prison, police said today.
The Directorate of Forensic Investigation has promised a reward of 60 million Kenyan shillings (almost 468,000 euros) to anyone who provides information that will lead to their arrest.
No explanation has been given for the way in which Mohammed Ali Abikar, Joseph Juma Odhiabo and Musharraf Abdallah escaped from Kamiti High Security Prison, where most of Kanye’s most dangerous prisoners are being held near Nairobi.
Prisons Commissioner Wycliffe Ogalo said he had visited the site to “determine the circumstances leading up to this tragic event”.
“The issue has been brought to the attention of all the country’s security services in order to locate and arrest the fugitives,” he said, without giving further details about the escape. “I want to tell the people that these are dangerous criminals who should not be given refuge.”
In 2019, Abikar was found guilty of participating in the Somali Shebab and helping the al-Qaeda-linked jihadist militia to carry out the attack in Garissa, where 148 people, mostly students, were killed. Abikar was serving a 41-year prison sentence.
The attack is the second deadliest in Kenya since the bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998, which killed 213 people.
Ojiabo was arrested in 2019 for trying to recruit on behalf of the Shebab, according to police.
Ahulunga was arrested in 2012 after a prevented attack on the Kenyan parliament and was prosecuted for possession of explosives, ammunition and firearms.
Kenya shares a common border with Somalia and has been repeatedly hit by the Shebab since sending troops to fight them in 2011.
In 2013, the Shebab claimed responsibility for an attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, where 67 people were killed during a four-day bloody siege.